Musical pupils release single

December 20 2017

BLACKHORSE Primary School in Emersons Green is setting its sights on the charts by releasing its own charity single.

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BLACKHORSE Primary School in Emersons Green is setting its sights on the charts by releasing its own charity single.

Children have worked with composer in residence Jesse D Vernon, guitarist with Bristol band The Moonflowers and founder of the Fantasy Orchestra Bristol, and music workshop organiser  Sam Leyden. 

Proceeds from the single will go to Hosanna Primary School in the slums of Kampala, Uganda,  which has a close relationship with Blackhorse Primary. 

Headteacher  Simon Botten, explained that the school had an ambition to have half of all the children in the school playing a musical instrument by 2019.

“We were looking for something to inspire our children to get involved with the various music and singing activities at school. As we have a very close link with Hosanna Primary School, we thought it would be great for the children to write, perform and record their own charity single in support of the school.”

Uganda link co-ordinator and Reception teacher, Mel Horn, added: “We’ve hosted several teachers from Hosanna Primary over the past six years and several staff and I were lucky enough to visit the school. Last time I visited, the children from Hosanna sang a welcome song which we recorded and showed the children back at Blackhorse. We thought it would be nice to record something to send back.”

Jesse Vernon wrote the song with the school council. He explained: “We had to remember that we were trying to write a pop song not an assembly hymn. The children were also keen to include the school’s core values of ‘Respect’, ‘Pride’, ‘Bravery’ and ‘Success’ into the lyrics.

"This is one of the most rewarding projects I've worked on in ages, bringing together two very different schools, the one in Bristol, the other in Uganda, and uniting them through music.

"We based our song on a video we saw of the Hosanna kids and at the end of the track we hear (and see) their original version with a few of the Blackhorse kids playing along with them."

Although Jesse helped the children with the musical arrangement, all the instruments on the single were played by the budding musicians at Blackhorse Primary. Likewise, the single, entitled ‘One Family’, includes solos from members of the school’s choir as well as choruses from the whole school.

School Music Leader and Year 1 teacher Steph Phillips, who is also a member of the Fantasy Orchestra Bristol,  added: “Music can open so many doors for children both in terms of learning an enjoyable new skill and also in helping them develop confidence and resilience across the curriculum. We hope that this experience has inspired more of our children to pick up an instrument and learn to play.”

‘One Family’ is available to download on Bandcamp.com